What SouthStart Means for our Speakers

 In accelerate, conference, events

One of the fantastic things about coming to SouthStart is the array of interesting speakers showcasing their ventures and their stories. Since the start of the conference, entrepreneurs and VCs have offered their insights through presentations, fireside conversations and panel discussions with a degree of audience Q&A.

Here are a few faces who we had a chat with:

Samantha Wong

Samantha is the VP of operations at Blackbird Ventures and Startmate. Blackbird is a technological accelerator that provides equity capital for ideas that are in the seed round, Series A and later stages in their development and Startmate is a technological fund that helps founders succeed through mentor networks. Samantha spoke in an interesting panel discussion during the VIP/Investor night about ‘going global’.

When asked about her thoughts on SouthStart, she illustrated how more and more ventures are unfolding in Adelaide ‘from space tech to defence, communications and VR/AR’.  It really paints a picture of how our city is changing in a revolutionary way.

Flavia Tata Nardini

Flavia is the CEO and Founder of Fleet – a next-gen connectivity company that is utilizing space to greatly improve connections and create a ‘digital nervous system’ around the globe. For Flavia, SouthStart is a prime example of how entrepreneurship has been developing throughout the state.

‘South Australia has had a changing ecosystem in the last 20 years,’ says Flavia, ‘SouthStart is a great environment to meet other entrepreneurs and start your own company.’

Dr. Jordan Nguyen 

Jordan is the founder and CEO of Psykinetic – a revolutionary technological company that specialises in giving independence and providing a better quality of life for people living with disabilities. In his presentation, he looked at technologies ‘across the board’ to understand the impact technology has on our society. Cloud technologies, artificial intelligence, virtual/augmented reality are just a few examples of what is changing our world.

‘These are the sort of things we need to know about because they affect our businesses, they affect our lives.’

Jordan enthusiastically gave his thoughts on SouthSide by saying:

‘Adelaide is on the rise. We want to burst entrepreneurship here and here – at the one conference – you’ve got investors, you’ve got people who have started businesses and have learnt from it, and you’ve got people who are wanting to start businesses’.

Andrew Montessi 

Andrew is the head of marketing at Pickstar and he also has a podcast called Rooster Radio, which focuses on entrepreneurship and business topics. Today, he joined a panel to discuss marketplaces and the challenges involved in creating demand for both sides of the market.

‘People should come to SouthStart because it’s super important for a community of like-minded people to come together. In Adelaide, it’s more important than ever. It has it’s challenges but there are also so many opportunities over here, so it’s really important for people to come together, share their ideas, talk and do business together.’

Adam Jacobs

Adam is the co-founder of The Iconic, Australias largest online fashion retailer. In his presentation, Adam had a chat with Aaron LePoidevin about the importance of having a clear purpose, executing detail and the value of strong teams.

Adam mentioned that with a perspective from the fashion industry, the most ‘creatively interesting’ brands are South Australian.

‘Creative thinking lays into entrepreneurship as well. Everyone I meet from Adelaide has this honest, creative, brilliant character to them and I think that’s the basis of what great companies can become.’

Aaron LePoidevin

Aaron is a partner of PwC and he often works in innovation and with entrepreneurs. On top of talking alongside Adam Jacobs (The Iconic), he also moderated a panel on Venture Capitals, which looked into trends and future projections with the ‘VC world’ in Australia.

To Aaron, networking is a fundamental practice when it comes to being a founder or a Venture Capitalist:

‘It’s all about idea-flowing, getting to know the network and events like SouthStart is the perfect way to get that network happening and connect’.

The valuable advice from a select few of the speakers is just a glimpse of what the SouthStart conference has to offer. Whether you have a game-changing idea in the works or you want to bring your venture onto the next level, you should definitely check out SouthStart when it returns in 2018.

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